"Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God." (Luke 12:21 NLT)
Unless you are moving, or doing the "40 bags out" during Lent (one bag out of the house for each day of Lent) you probably haven't stopped to think about how much stuff you actually have. I'm sure you have seen the commercials, the same as I have, about storage units. You fill up your house, organize your closets and still have too much to "fit" so you rent a place to store more stuff. I've been thinking about this, lately, because of the possibility of moving in the next year or so. One question is... what to do with almost 100 Nativity sets.
The Gospel reading today is about a farmer who takes down one barn, builds a bigger barn all so he can have "enough room" for his excellent harvest. The question raised isn't about the produce the farmer has, or how much stuff we have, the question is about our relationship with God. What kind of relationship do we have with God. "Love the Lord your God, with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength." (Matthew 22:37)
This is the middle of the growing season, at least in this part of the country, so how are you growing your relationship with God? As Caregivers we are trying to follow where God is leading with helping to take care of "our" person. The question is are we keeping the stronger relationship with God also? Something to think about............
"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said." (Luke 10:39)
We've talked about listening several times lately. Are we really listening or are we "just" hearing.... I know I sometimes tell someone I have heard them talking but I didn't hear what they said. We've even talked about the ways we listen differently - not many need to keep their hands busy to be able to listen, but I do. Today we can be thinking about how we "process" what we are listening to. How do we take what we have heard and move it into action? How do we work on what we are hearing?
The readings are about listening and working or doing. In Amos we read about the plumbline - which for those of us who don't know a plumbline is a staight line. Plumbers, and carpenters, use it to keep what they are working on straight. In Colossians we are reminded to be growing in our likeness to, and of Christ. In the Gospel reading we are with a family we know. Lasarus' family is welcoming Jesus into their home. Marth is following her gift of hospitality. Mary is really listening to what Jesus is saying which is really bothering Martha. Jesus is pointing out God will take care of the details - it is most important to follow the "plumb line" and grow in our relationship with Christ.
So where are you in the readings? How are you working through, understanding, what God is calling you to do or change? As Caregivers we are already following, and trying to do, what God is asking as we care for our "people" -- but what is God asking us to change or do? Are we listening or "just" hearing? How do we follow the "plumb line" to a stronger relationship with God, through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit? Something to think about.......
"After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper." (1 Kings 19:12 NLT)
How do people get your attention? How do you get someone's attention? Do you do it the same way if it is a group of peole? Once you have the person's attention then what? Once the person has your attention are you paying attention, listening? We've talked about listening already. Ya'll know I can listen, pay attention, better with something going in my hands.
The Scripture readings today are about getting our attention and really listening. In the Gospel reading Jesus performs a miracle getting not only the person he healed's attention but the whole town's attention. And the gentleman Jesus healed is "sitting at Jesus' feet" listening. (Luke 8:35) Then we are to Elijah, the prophet. There are not a lot of details about him but we do know of several of the things he did. He was trying to bring the Hebrew people back to God. In the process he proved the false gods to be false and got the ruling king and queen very angry with him. Elijah was also very tired. Which is when God promised to come to Elijah and we have the above reading. Not in the wind, the fire, the earthquake but in the "gentle whisper."
We're busy too, and tired, and there has been a LOT of wind and storms so how is God trying to get your attention? As Caregivers are we listening to the "gentle whisper"? Are we paying attention to what God is asking us to do? Something to think about...........
"When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, (fame due to the name of the Lord), she came to test him with hard questions." (1 Kings 10:1)
Have you ever thought about how often we test soemthing? Or even what things we test? We have talked about listening, and believing, so I'm thinking we are testing what we hear. What about how hot, or cold or if we need to heat up or let cool? We test to see if something is done - I'm even learning how to use a meat thermometer. One more question - are you the one doing the testing or are you the one being tested?
Today's readings are about testing. The Gospel reading, in Luke 10, has an "expert in the law" coming to ask Jesus questions. (Luke 10:25) Jesus turns the question back, and tells the person "you have answered correctly. Do this...." (v. 28) To which the person has another question "who is my neighbor?" (v. 29) Testing to see what, how much and for whom things are being done. The reading is Colossians is about believers praying for each other to be living their faith. I would like, however, for us to focus on the reading in 1 Kings. The queen of Sheba has traveled a long way to ask Solomon questions. These would not have been easy questions, they would probably have been in the form of riddles, about Solomon's Lord. Using Scripture, NOT Hollywood, we can get information about the change in the queen as she understands the difference between the gods in her country and the LORD Solomon believes.
The interest in the Queen of Sheba comes from the book "It's Good to be Queen" by Liz Curtis Higgs. It is on the summer reading list and is very informative. It looks at Solomon, and Solomon's relationship with God, through a little different perspective. Testing Solomon, yes, but also looking at how we can test, learn, grow, strengthen AND answer when we are asked.
So....... are we testing? Are we being tested? Are we asking God? Are we being asked about OUR God? Something to think about......
"Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?" (1 Kings 3:9)
We've talked, before, about how you listen. I have explained if you want me to be really listening I need something to do with my hands. Today I want you to think about people listening to you. When you really want one person, or a group of people, to pay attention to what you are saying what do you do? How do you share with them? Are you sure they are really listening?
The readings, today, are about living our faith. In the Gospel reading Jesus is sending 70 out "to every town and place where he himself intended to go." (Luke 10:1) In the Galatians reading we are told to help each other "to fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) I especially want you to notice Solomon's request for an "understanding mind." He is now the King of Israel and knows the difficulties, from dysfunctional family to this issues of "his" country, facing him. He also knows, we are told just a few verses before (v. 7), he is a "young child." He is asking for an "understanding mind" so he can govern the people. We know, because we know the story of Solomon, he is considered the king with "wisdom."
In all of these readings the people were sharing with the people they knew - 70 going ahead of Jesus, helping each other and helping understand so as "to discern between good and evil." So my question to you is how are you sharing? Who are you sharing with? As caregivers we share with "our" people as we take care of them but are we sharing how God loves them? Are we sharing how we know God is with us? Something to think about..........
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.